Thursday, August 04, 2005

She's a bad mamma jamma

For those of us in youth ministry, the end of summer means the return of our daily lives. The semblance of sanity being restored. The voices of relentless and reckless kids slowly receding from our subconsciouses on otherwise comfortable nights. We can begin to evaluate, reevaluate, polish up our resumes, consider the costs of assuming new identities. All the post-partum depressive tendencies we tend to have at this season. (Just as those poor whiny teachers begin their lesson plans for next year - or mark off the days 'til pension rolls in and dream about their summer homes, yachts, and a world without children.)

One thing I've noticed, we are not naturally a reflective lot. We tend to be doers and not thinkers. Which is partially why I've loved this change of pace as a youth director. But, after trying it out for a year, I've realized this, it just ain't my style, baby!

I love being able to reflect. And I'm lazy.

Speaking of reflective youth workers, my man Stinger's come back from Venezuela and he's just starting to delve into his experience there. In the infamous and glorious words of Napoleon, sounds like he had "a killer time." Manos! Manos! Manos!

The Other Side of the Story of trips such as what Stinger (and a group from my church that just came back from Haiti) took can be viewed in the latest edition of the journalistic juggernaut, LarkNews.

Barbara Nicolosi was interviewed by the New York Times again, this time about the whole, "Christians don't like The Da Vinci Code? What's not to like?" flap. Read her entry here and the article here (NYTimes requires free registration). If you wanna see me in one of my angrier moods, click here.

One disconcerting exchange that she notes with the interviewer, however, is:

Barb: I heard that the studio execs behind The Da Vinci Code are worried that some Christians are going to put them on a hit list. Someone claimed to have gotten death threats during the making of The Last Temptation of Christ. It's so ridiculous. We aren't the ones who throw bombs.

NYTimes Reporter: (paraphrase) Well, there are as many Christians out there throwing bombs as Muslims. Look at all the bombings Christians do of abortion clinics.

Sometimes, I just feel sorry for people.

And, lastly but not leastly (because I actually got his permission), Victor Morton has a post on a radio commentary done over the CBC. You gotta love any post that begins, "From the soft tyranny to the north aka, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Canuckistan..." (Love ya, Christine.) Apparently, Bob Ferguson has a lot of opinions on what should be official Catholic beliefs, certainly those validated by the state.

If Catholicism were illegal,
Then it would be illegal to require a particular marital status as a condition of employment or to exclude women from the priesthood.
On State-controlled church doctrine:
Of course the Vatican wouldn't like the changes, but they would come to accept them in time as a fact of life in Canada. Indeed I suspect many clergy would welcome the external pressure.

[In all truth, would it be much different than the Canadian Episcopalian Church?]

We could also help the general cause of religious freedom by introducing a code of moral practice for religions. They will never achieve unity so why not try for compatibility? Can't religious leaders agree to adjust doctrine so all religions can operate within the code?

As part of this code of compatiblility, ministers would take standardized coursework, sign a pact on agreed-upon terms, etc. Are you catching this? He literally wants the state to "regulate the practice of religion."

It's a good thing that this engineering professor is humble and doesn't overstep his boundaries on things he knows nothing about:

I won't try to propose what might be in the new code except for a few obvious things: A key item would have to be a ban on claims of exclusivity.

And this pearl of swinery,
Religion is important in our lives, but it can become a danger to society when people claim that the unalterable will of God is the basis for their opinions and actions.
Yeah, we wouldn't want to base our ideologies on something we don't completely understand, do we?

And my favorite line goes to:

Now what is the point of proposing this? I do it because I am worried that the separation between church and state is under threat.

Thank you, Bob Ferguson. You've amused me to no end!

Good night!

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